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Old 14th October 2017, 02:58 PM   #1
Jon MB
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Default Dogshead Cuttoe 1770's

Hello,

Hope we are having a good day.

Not too experienced with this type.

Comments welcome, many thanks

Jon MB
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Old 15th October 2017, 11:01 PM   #2
Jim McDougall
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VERY NICE Jon!!!
As always, I turn to my trusty Neumann ("Swords and Blades of the American Revolution", 1973), and on p.98, 110.S is pretty much an identical (or dramatically similar) hilt. Described as an English cuttoe c.1750-80 and as used by officers in French-Indian and Revolutionary wars.

The pommel is not a 'dogs head' but a lion head, with these often sold and traded between furbishers along with various hilt components. The ivory grip here would normally have silver banding in the gadrooned channels.
The dot and sphere device is a widely used decorative theme which it seems was quite present in the decoration of Scottish swords in some cases, so possibly might lend to that sort of connotation. On the other hand, Neumann (p.122, 181S) is an American version of 1760-80 which has a bone grip with stained in spherical devices in similar patterns, and these kinds of decorative stylings seem to be more prevalent in the Colonial examples.


The blade is much like that in the Neumann example, which I think has been termed a 'Montmorency' type cross section. It would be great if there were any signs of makers marks.

As always, hoping for Glen to show up here.

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 15th October 2017 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 17th October 2017, 03:18 AM   #3
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An absolutely beautiful sword, Jon. Jim pretty much summed it up. I would only add that these lion pommel swords were very popular with English/American officers in both army and naval settings. Here's mine-

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=14342
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Old 17th October 2017, 11:58 AM   #4
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Jim, Mark, many thanks for your encouragement. My American swords book is in storage, will look this up when I get it out. Thank you for the information. I like this piece more now!
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Old 17th October 2017, 07:22 PM   #5
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Almost forgot something important Jim pointed out. This item does appear to have the classic Montmorency blade pattern, another tip of the hat that it might be naval (I know some Forumites are groaning...everything is 'possibly naval' to me! )
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Old 18th October 2017, 10:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY
Almost forgot something important Jim pointed out. This item does appear to have the classic Montmorency blade pattern, another tip of the hat that it might be naval (I know some Forumites are groaning...everything is 'possibly naval' to me! )


Well noted Mark, we cannot forget those Wooley & Deakin's !!!!
It seems these type blades were pretty well known even before that time. There is really not much that precludes any of these hangers or sabres from finding service aboard vessels. Remember in the on deck melee in Ocracoke in 1718, Blackbeard got it with a Highlander's basket hilt!

To the comment on another thread to the effect, 'how do you know its naval?', well, how do you know its not?'.
I remember one classic, I asked a Sikh how to identify a 'Sikh' tulwar. He chirped, 'if a Sikh used it.....its Sikh!!!'.
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Old 21st October 2017, 09:53 AM   #7
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"If a Sikh used it...it's Sikh!"

Exactly, Jim! Unlike all the other military branches in Europe and the colonies, specific naval models were rare, with most weapons being those convenient enough to use in the tight quarters of a ship (hangers, hunting swords, dirks). There were virtually no model patterns until the start of the 19th c. ! Officers carried whatever tickled their fancy, private merchant vessels placed orders with local blacksmiths to put together primitive cutlasses in batches to fit out their ship (private purchase weapons, as previously mentioned, could have any one of a combination of hilts, blades, etc). Likewise, don't even get me started on pirate swords!!! As all manner of riffraff sailed with the Saley Rovers, one might see tulwars, shamshir, baskethilts, etc, all on the same crew! Pirates picked up what they could in their raids and didn't discriminate. With no rules telling them what they could carry, anything was fair game.

Getting back to the lion hilt, however, it is well documented that naval officers and army officers on 'both sides of the pond' used them. In Boarders Away, Gilkerson pictures one with provenance. The Maritime Museum in Greenwich likewise has some interesting examples...
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Old 21st October 2017, 04:29 PM   #8
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LOL! Mark, on the pirate swords, we used to joke about the pirate outfitters store, PIRATES Arrrrrh US!!!!
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Old 21st October 2017, 09:44 PM   #9
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Old 22nd October 2017, 06:01 AM   #10
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Thank you, Ibrahiim, for that magnificently large pic of Washington's sword. I've seen B&W pics of it, but never a pic so detailed! The former prez had, I think, two dress small swords as well.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 02:52 AM   #11
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Stuart Mowbray, editor of "Man at Arms" magazine, has published an amazing book on George Washington's swords, which gives great insight into these types of swords in use at this time.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 09:00 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the info guys. I had spotted Washington's sword previously..How (rare or not) are these pieces generally? As mentioned, I am usually more familiar with cavalry sabres.
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Old 24th October 2017, 02:27 PM   #13
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They are relatively uncommon. Just do a search online and you rarely see them up for sale. It is interesting to see the different styles, some with open hilt, like yours (cuttoe-style)m some with plain knuckle bows, others with elaborate slotted hilts with cut-out designs, etc.
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